re-building a movement?
Jul 18, 2011 18:43 PDT
It seems to me that while all sorts of wrongheaded and deluded anti-tax
sentiments are afoot in the country these days, war tax refusal isn't
engaging the imagination of our fellow citizens and as a result has no
political salience - it elicits no politically useful response from the
government, while there's no sign that it's turning any but the already
committed away from militarism and criminal war-making. And the already
committed aren't particularly gaining new practitioners by our example.
I know that WTR is more than a numbers game, and that NWTRCC provides
important support and information for those already trying to resist. I'm
not a member of NWTR's Coordinating Committee so I don't know if it has the
information, but it might help to know what signs there are that war tax
refusal in the country is declining, holding steady, or increasing.
I can't be particularly grieved by the present low public appeal of WTR, as
I think it's an expected result of the current social/political situation
Yet I do spend too much time thinking more or less aimlessly about "why WTR
isn't working," so much so that it's interfering with my participation in
other, more focused activism.
To counter my sense that I'm engaged in what has become a purely private
and to that degree alienating behavior I've been thinking of what it might
take to turn (or re-turn?) wtr into something resembling a social movement.
For a while I've been talking on and off with a few other resisters and
ex-resisters about how to do that. Not surprisingly, no bright ideas have
emerged. But it strikes me that we haven't been asking the right questions.
So I thought it might be helpful to put forth some questions that would
shed light on the conditions that would make the effort to build a wtr
movement at least as useful as some of the myriad anti-militarist endeavors
now being carried forth.
I'm hoping that the first and shortest of my rants on this topic will be:
What do we mean by a "movement," and how does it differ from the wtr
community that now exists?
Before I inflict that on the list, I thought I'd ask: Do folks think that
even though a "movement" may not now be in the works, it would still be
useful to think about those questions that might be asked in preparation
for some future one? I don't want to be posting if I'm the only dreamer
here. - ed